Why do women in Spain retire later than men?

 [¿Por qué las mujeres en España se jubilan más tarde que los hombres?]


forthcoming in Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas

Jonas Radl


The relationship between gender and retirement in Spain is paradoxical. The female employment rate between age 55 and 64 is hardly more than half the male rate, while the average retirement age is more than two years higher among women than among men. Using techniques of event-history analysis, the paper analyses whether this puzzling gender difference is due to compositional or selection effects. Data come from a retirement module within the 2006 Encuesta de la Población Activa (EPA). It applies a novel methodological framework, contrasting the results from a naïve survival analysis with those from a duration selection model. Self-selection has largely been neglected in previous retirement research. The results indicate that women retire later than men because they need to make up for foregone pension accruals or do not even qualify for early retirement. While there is clearly self-selection, the findings indicate that selection effects do not explain the gender gap in retirement ages.

Keywords: Life course, gender, retirement, employment, survival analysis, methodology, pensions